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RRC Students, Staff Unwind with Help of Therapy Dogs

November 18, 2013 8:45 AM | News

Mind It Therapy Dog

Mind It is a new student-led mental health initiative at Red River College to help raise mental health awareness among students, combat stigma, and bring students together for some fun on campus. (FACEBOOK)

Six dogs from St. John Ambulance’s dog therapy program are bringing positive vibes to Red River College’s city campuses.

Through a new mental health club and campaign called Mind It, Creative Communications student Meghan Franklin is enlisting the help of the furry four-legged animals to help students, staff, and members of the community de-stress and have some fun. The program’s first two events included painting projects, which allowed students to express their creativity in a visual setting.

“The response so far from students and staff has been very positive. We have hosted three events so far and they all exceeded our expectations in terms of engagement and participation,” Franklin said.

One in three young people in Canada struggle with a mental health issue. Often times it’s hard to get the proper help as mental health services at university and college campuses across Canada are stretched very thin.

“I thought creating an initiative that got students, RRC, and community organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association working together could start a conversation about mental health at RRC and get students thinking about their mental health. It seems to be working!”

A similar dog therapy event was held earlier this month on the college’s Notre Dame campus, drawing about 100 people to stop and play with the dogs during the day.

On November 20, the dogs will be at RRC’s Princess Street campus from 12-2 p.m.

Follow @MindItRRC on Twitter.